Wednesday, December 18, 2013

One thing led to another . . .

I only had 2 things I needed to do today - set a pretty Christmas table and swim (way too many Christmas goodies are being consumed).

I will swim after dinner because one thing led to another and I ended up, as Steve calls it, "playing house" all day.

When I was getting my red plates off the top shelf of the cupboards the other day I came across my grandmother's silver cake plate and decided I need to use it at Christmas.

I love the detail on both sides of the cake plate and thought it would work in a centerpiece if I flipped it over to use as a candle holder, so I used a lot of elbow grease to make it shine.

But, as you will see, the cake plate didn't end up on the table.

For today's table, I chose large red plates, linen napkins and green handled flatware.

While looking for jute to tie the berries onto the napkins, I spotted a basket full of word cubes and I knew exactly what I wanted to do for today's centerpiece.

A little greenery, some red candles and word cubes - simple enough, but this table setting actually garnered a "great job" from my son - usually my kids just tease me about my table settings.

We are big on games in our family, but this word game didn't prove to be a favorite.

It has been in a cupboard for a couple of years so I dusted off the cubes and set out words that meant something about our family.

The table was all set by 9:00 so I had time to get creative and finally make a folded book page Christmas tree.

I followed a link to An Extraordinary Day which was shared by Sarah at Down By The Sea.

The little Christmas tree ended up on a dining room shelf alongside my grandmother's cake plate.

The stars from Tuesday's centerpiece ended up on a little table in the dining room.

While I was taking photos, Steve announced that we were having cioppino for dinner so some green bowls were added and we are ready for dinner.

One thing led to another today and I made a lot of "little" changes.

And now, I need to focus on bigger things - like shopping, baking and most important, enjoying the season.

I hope you are enjoying the holiday season too.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Join me at these fun parties

Common Ground - Be Inspired

Imparting Grace - Grace At Home

From My Front Porch to Yours - Treasure Hunt Thursday

No Minimalist Here - Open House

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson - Share Your Cup

Thrifty Decor  Chick - Christmas Party


  1. Your home is so lovely and festive Carol! Thank you for sharing.

    I remember making book trees a long time ago...yours looks great next to your silver plate, which you put a lot of work into. The plate came out nicely.

    Merry Christmas my friend!

  2. That is a wonderful table, and I want that book tree! How cute!



  3. Steve's Cioppino?!?!?! Why didn't you call ~ I could have made it there for dinner!!! ;)))

    You are THE Queen of the quick and easy and elegant change-up ~

  4. It's so nice to take the time and do things you decorating and crafting! I may try one of the trees! I'll go see how hard they are! heehee! Happy holidays my friend!

  5. Love your table and what a good use for a game that didn't really work out. We like games, too, but every once in a while we get a dud! I love your plate from your grandmother-it looks great....and your tree is really, really cute. We used to make them out of the old Sears catalog back in the 70's and then spray painted them. I like YOURS much much better! xo Daina

  6. My husband calls it playing house, too. Love the word centerpiece.

  7. Your table looks lovely and I love how you used the blocks. Your tree really looks so good beside your stunning cake plate.

  8. Your day almost sounds like "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." It looks like you had some fun playing house. That silver cake plate is a beauty!

  9. What a fun table! The little word cubes could be a fun addition to dinner conversations! All your little touches are so sweet and full of lovely memories!

  10. Brilliant table because I really love the centerpiece! How much *fun*

  11. Carol,
    Your table looks so festive and pretty. You rock girl on getting all these Christmas crafts done. I am in awe. The centerpiece is awesome. Love the word cubes too. You place house so nicely.

  12. Carol, you are spending your much deserved retirement just perfectly and the next time those big little buggers tease you, just give them a smack up side the butt from me and tell the don't mess with the Mama!!

  13. Love your playing house...everything looks great!!

  14. I love the idea of the word game! Your family is very lucky!

  15. Carol, You're amazing...that tables setting and a folded book tree in the same day? I barely got a few gifts wrapped! As a former English teacher, I love how you used the word cubes as part of your table setting. Your home is so warm and welcoming; I love that you are not afraid of color...all the primary colors make your home look like such a happy place.
    Thanks for the eye candy. Have a very Merry Christmas!

  16. Love the berry napkin rings and the whole process and am glad that you got carried away 'playing house'!


  17. WOW. That was a super tour my friend, and that shot from your dining room towards your front door is GREAT! Now I can see even more of the California cottage style I know and love.

    I wish I could find some word cubes like that in French! And of course, how fun is THAT to play house all day. I love it, and do it often on the weekends!

    Every vignette you have shared has made me smile and has inspired me. THank you as well for the info on French General AND, for those lovely adjectives. You are super my friend.

    Happy Thursday! Anita

  18. what a great way to get folks talking & have a good topic to go on ... love that idea!! ( :
    i love the tree made from paper accordion style. so neat!

  19. I love how your book tree came out and this is a wonderful centerpiece. I would say you are enjoying the season fully!

  20. You 'played house" quite beautifully ! :)
    I have done some baking but we basically ate it all and yet now I lost my motivation, ha ha . Just need to get back at it, I suppose :)

  21. Your mind must constantly be flowing with new ideas, Carol!!! I'm loving the page book tree that I'm seeing around blogland, and I love how you've added some of your special touches to yours! The basket of word cubes is wonderful, and those stars are fabulous. I love "playing house." I probably do it to much! :-)
    Mary Alice

  22. You got a lot done! Your table not only is pretty but pulled the entire family in and has given us an idea to use for our families. I believe I recognize the Paula Dean green bowl. I enjoy my aqua and green bowls in that pattern. My husband loves the depth of the bowl and chooses it every time.

    I love how your folded book tree project turned out! I am impressed you finished it. I start things and don't finish.

    Thanks for your visit. It was an encouragement to me. Merry Christmas to you.


  23. Everything looks wonderful. I love your folded book Christmas tree!

  24. Your table is delightful Carol!! I LOVE the game words. What a perfect touch!
    And your folded paper book tree turned out superbly!!
    Thanks to for including the link to my tutorial.

    Wishing you and yours JOY this Christmas!!

  25. Beautiful! I love how you love color. Your table looks so inviting and your home is so sweet.

  26. What a day you had, you sure accomplished a lot! Love your book page tree and your grandmother's cake's beautiful no matter how you use it.

  27. Your table looks lovely and I like those word cubes in the wire basket.

  28. I love the cake stand! And your using the game on the table. Did I miss the blue table? I'm going back to see if you showed it. Isn't a day of just playing house more fun than anything? Puttering about the house is so relaxing.

  29. Your book tree looks so pretty.I have just finished work for Christmas so I will have some time now to try some of your inspirational ideas.
    Sarah x

  30. It all looks so festive Carol. I just love your sweet, dreamy little cottage. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.


  31. It looks like you are having so much fun doing these sweet table settings. And oddly enough, this is the first time I have noticed your chairs in primary colors - golly that is cute. I hope you enjoyed your dinner!

  32. Your table looks so pretty and I adore your folded Christmas tree. I'm am going to have to make myself one of those.

  33. Your table setting is charming! I like the added game cubes you used with special words. I laughed at the "playing house" remark your husband said. You know, that's kind of true for a lot of us I guess. LOL!

  34. Hi Carol, well, some days are like that, aren't they? You are so creative . . . it doesn't matter where you put something, it is in the perfect spot. When it comes to display, you have that special touch. Your table is lovely and everything is wonderful. The only thing that I can see that would make it better, is if you would set a place for me and my Steve. What time is dinner? LOL
    Keep Smiling,
    Your blogging sister, Connie :)

  35. I love the book page tree and your word cubes. Do you still swim in the sea at this time of the year?

  36. Super cute Carol! We are big on games too. In fact we played Settlers and the Aggravation early this evening with our youngest daughter and sil. I love the words on that game. I've never seen it before. We try to buy a new game every Christmas. Haven't found one yet this year. Your tree turned out great. I made one a while back and they really are quick, easy, and fun! I'm laughing at 'playing house'. My hubby says everyday is 'Jann day'. lol! I hold a stitching group at my home with friends on Thursday's now and then and one of my friends hubbies gave it the name of 'Jann day'. Aren't men too funny? Thanks for sharing with SYC. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  37. The best kind of fun (along with walking my dog on the beach and shopping, when I have money in my pocket) is playing house ! Everything looks very pretty Carol.

  38. Love your little folded tree. It's really pretty and the table looks great. I like how you find ways to make your table unique and pretty.